Coronavirus has put a halt on worldwide tourism, which is among the worst-hit sectors from the pandemic. With many countries struggling to tackle the coronavirus crisis as the number of cases is on a steady rise, they have placed lockdowns to keep people indoors. The urge to travel, visit a new country, wander the unexplored streets, meet new people, try different cuisine and learn of various cultures first hand are mere fantasies, there's a shimmer of hope for those itching to take the flight and enjoy some time away.
All we hear these days is which country is ranking on the top with the record-high coronavirus cases. But there are some relaxations in some countries, which are effectively trying to flatten the curve. With international flights started or starting soon in some countries, if you feel like taking your long-overdue vacation to cut through all the noise about coronavirus - even if it is for a bit, there are some tourist destinations open to welcome tourists.
From lovely beaches to historic monuments, you can experience it all in the post-COVID-19 era. Here are some destinations you must consider and all the necessary details you'll need to plan your holiday.
Thailand, a tourist hotspot, like many countries, shut its tourism doors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though there is some level of normalcy with the reopening of malls, markets and some tourist spots, the incoming international flights will only begin after June 30. So plan accordingly.
One of the most popular travel destinations in the world, Bali is willing to allow tourists by October. The country's low rate of coronavirus cases and fatality rate has helped in this decision. But the Indonesian island's economy heavily relies on tourism, so the sooner they welcome tourists the better it will be for them.
If you truly want to enjoy your holiday without worrying about the healthcare factors, Cyprus is the place to be. Cyprus will allow direct flights from 19 countries starting June 9. While UK, US and India remain absent from the list, tourists from Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, and others get a green pass.
There will be more countries added to the list from June 20, so more people can consider taking their vacation. What's striking about this place - besides its beautiful beaches - is that the government is willing to cover all costs of travellers who test positive for COVID-19 while in Cyprus, CNN reported.
Greece is planning to allow tourists back in on June 15, allowing seasonal hotels to reopen. The country's ferry services are already in operation since May 25 and travelling within the country eased on May 18. As days pass, if Greece manages to keep those COVID-19 cases on the low side, there will be more relaxations on international passengers, who may not have to go into quarantine or take a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Germany is considering relaxing travel restrictions for EU countries from June 15 but the social distancing rules will be in effect till June 29. Allowing tourists from other countries such as the UK, Turkey, etc., is also being considered.
The tourism ministry is considering welcoming domestic tourists soon but international visitors would only be allowed sometime in mid-June. Istanbul's Grand Bazaar is also opening from June 1 - so are restaurants, cafes, parks and beaches and museums.
Spain may soon open its borders for tourists. According to the prime minister, the foreign tourists could be allowed as early as July and without having to go into quarantine upon arrival.
The Maldives will open its lavish resorts for tourists in July 2020 without any additional fees such as $50,000 landing fee for private jets. Visitors will need to have a COVID-19 free certificate and be willing to spend a minimum of 14 days in the country.
St. Lucia is one of the few destinations for US citizens as most countries have shut their borders for people coming from the epicentre of coronavirus. St. Lucia will allow US visitors from June 4 with a certified proof of COVID-19 negative test taken within 48 hours of boarding the flight.
The borders will be open to more countries on August 1.
France is the most travelled destination in the world, but then the pandemic happened. There are some relaxations happening within France, like reopening of hotels, bars, restaurants, cafes by June 2 and the Louvre by July 6, there's no easing on international travel. However, people in France can take holidays without crossing the borders during July and August, PM Edouard Philippe said.
So taking that selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower might not be possible anytime soon if you are anywhere outside the country.